Complementary Health

Every five years the Centers for Disease Control conducts what’s called the National Health Interview Survey.  The results reported last week were responses from 34,525 adults and 10,218 children to the survey in 2012. The researchers compared these results with surveys conducted in 2007 (23,393 adults; 7,103 children) and 2002 (31,044 adults; no children).
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Overall, 33.2% of adults and 11.6% of children used complementary health approaches in 2012, the survey found.
Complementary medicine is commonly defined as a group of diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines that are used together with– alongside– conventional medicine.

Complementary medicine is different from alternative medicine. Whereas complementary medicine is used together with conventional medicine, alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. An example of an alternative therapy is using a special diet to treat cancer instead of undergoing surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy that has been recommended by a physician.

It’s worth noting that NIH has a Center formally called:  The National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health.

Here are two systems that have stepped out on Complementary/Integrative Health:

  1. Northwestern (adults focus)
  2. Cleveland Clinic (children’s focus)

Also, about a third of Americans seek help for their health in a place that is outside their doctor’s office, according to two new studies from the National Institutes of Health.

Fish oil, probiotics, melatonin, deep breathing, acupuncture, chiropractors and yoga are among some of the alternatives Americans use to feel better.  Some call the targeted market “the Worried Well.”

Only about 5% of Americans use alternative medicine solely; most use it to complement traditional medical care.

The data comes from the National Health Statistics Report, a survey the U.S. government does to look at the health habits of a representative sample of the United States. The survey was given  to over 89,000 American adults and over 17,000 children between the ages of 4 and 17 years old.

Proof of the Complementary Health trend line– Massage Envy Spa, founded in 2009, now has over 1,000 US retail locations.

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